Monday, June 13, 2011

The weekend (179.8)

I spent much of the weekend in emotional turmoil.  Other than my blog post, I didn't share my therapy revelations with anyone.  There wasn't a good time to talk with my husband about it, and I'm not a phone person and don't have any friends who would be up on all this stuff anyway, so there was no one else to talk to.

I'd never talk with my mother or sister about all this.

Which is another part of my turmoil.  I am angry at my mom right now, for things that happened 30 years ago.  I know hanging onto the anger is wrong and unhealthy, and I will work through that.  But it's raw right now.  My mom's behavior and the way she speaks (very poor grammar, which is fingernails on a chalkboard to me) drives me crazy anyway; adding all of her failures (as I perceive them) from my childhood to the forefront of my mind makes my interactions with her painful.  I want to withdraw and lash out, at the same time. 

She was at my house Saturday morning to pick up the kids.  (We had a client appointment at 9 am so she drove down that morning to stay with them.)  She came in the bathroom as I was getting ready, did her usual thing--used the toilet, then weighed herself, then made a derogatory comment about the number on the scale, then looked at me and said "you're losing weight."  I could have just screamed. 

She weighs less than I do.  I told her earlier this year that I am not okay with her talking about how fat she is in front of me; I weigh more than she does, so what does that say about how I look?  She brushed it off, said I'm taller and younger than her, I carry my weight differently, have more muscle tone.  Which is all true, but whatever.  She made excuses and didn't acknowledge my feelings at all, and instead told me (for the umpteenth time) "You don't look that fat."  I could have just screamed.

Before I left for work Saturday morning, I'd asked her to stay until I got home so I could see them both off, since they were spending the night with her.  When I got home, I got the kids' packed and mostly just ignored mom.  I hugged on the kids, picked up the house a bit (mom cleaned the kitchen when I got home, which was nice of her), and counted the minutes until she left.  She'd ask a question, I'd give her a one sentence answer.  I'm sure she knows something's wrong but she didn't press.

Sunday afternoon she brought the kids home and I was reading my Kindle when she got there.  I kept reading.  She had my niece and needed to take her home, so she didn't stay long.  I know it's not fair to her, but I can't do anything about it yet.

I had made plans before we left for vacation to go with my friend Debra and her husband to our city's zoo for a beer and wine tasting (with Mark, not just me).  I hate beer and can't drink wine (headaches), but I was trying to be nice to Debra and agreed we'd go, and also agreed to be the designated driver.  I will not go into gory details, but it was not pleasant.  I will never, ever do that again.  Debra, who weighs 145 and was wearing a dress and looked gorgeous, got compliments from her husband, her brother (who we picked up on the way), and my husband.  I was wearing a khaki skort and black tshirt; I received no compliments, no attention after the first couple of hours since they were all pretty intoxicated, and was completely left out of their jolly, drunken fun.  I felt invisible, swept away without my consent, emotionally raw, and bitter. 

The whole thing was so ironic, after my post on Friday. And stupid. And I suppose self-sabotage at it's finest. I had felt all day that it was a bad idea to go, but I'd already committed to it and wasn't going to be a bad friend and back out at the last minute.  It added to my emotional turmoil, which put me into a "I gotta get numb" fest on Sunday.  I spent the day reading historical fantasy (Patricia Briggs is my favorite right now).  I ate ice cream and cookies.  I didn't binge, but I didn't eat well.  At least I didn't yell or take it out on my kids.

I have been hormonal and moody since Thursday.  I still feel pretty bad today--raw and moody.  I just want to cry and escape from my life.  It's gorgeous weather today.  I want to be living on the beach and not have any responsibilities.  Instead of soaking up the sunshine and cooler air, I am at work rehashing my weekend and procrastinating doing my job. 

I did decide to do a positive thing today.  There are a few of my friends who are planning to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February; none of them have run races longer than 5k's yet.  We have a group on Facebook that we share our runs/walks with, and support each other.  I haven't posted anything for months.  I am this close to just cancelling.  But I thought instead of giving up, I'd ask my friend Dedra (not a typo--this is De"d"ra, different friend from Debra) if she'd start meeting me twice a week in the mornings to walk/run.  She is in the Princess group, and like me has been considering not going.  We are meeting tomorrow morning at 5:15, will go for an hour, then I'll be home by 6:30 in time to get ready for the day. 

Twice a week should be doable.  We live less than two miles apart.  This is new for me--I am a solitary runner, but that's clearly not working right now.  I hope it's one small step to adding what I have been longing for--moving my body in the fresh air--back into my life.


Vickie said...

I think of this as the 'sorting' phase.

I smiled at the fact that you went thru with the zoo thing and then realized you would never do it again. Smiled because I have been there.

I think it was good you kept up your promise to go and now know that you will never go again.

One thing sorted, a zillion to go.

One thing that I learned to do myself was not lament what I had just done. No woulda/coulda/shouldas. I learned to think - valuable lesson learned, X hours of quality learning (what not to do next time), another boundary established, valuable information how not to self sabotage in the future.

then I would focus my energy/thought/feeling into how to be proactive about these types of situations in the future. How to stop them in advance and how to gracefully step around them and how to step toward self fulfilling things.

this then turned into one of my greatest strengths as a mom. I do not walk out of a situation and blast a kid about something. I try to remember, so I can kindly point it out in advance the next time the same type of thing rolls around. By then my communication is softer and kinder and more intellectual than what I would have said in the heat of the moment.

My therapist spent a lot of time trying to figure out how in the heck I wasn't very mad at my mom.

This is when I thought my mom just wasn't capable of any better than she did.

That switch flipped for me this year when I realized she actually CHOSE where she was and what she did in the past. She wouldn't have done it any differently.

So I think the anger thing is probably beneficial for you in the long run. You will probably do better and quicker than I did.

move your scale, to somewhere your mom doesn't know where it is, and can't get on it to repeat that little scene.

Your kids are spending a lot of time with your mom. . .

la·ment (l-mnt)
v. la·ment·ed, la·ment·ing, la·ments
1. To express grief for or about; mourn: lament a death.
2. To regret deeply; deplore: He lamented his thoughtless acts.
1. To grieve audibly; wail.
2. To express sorrow or regret. See Synonyms at grieve.
1. A feeling or an expression of grief; a lamentation.
2. A song or poem expressing deep grief or mourning.

Laura N said...

Vickie, thank you for the quick feedback. I hadn't thought of this as sorting; that helps me process that night even better.

I did do a good thing for myself that night--Mark had drunk too much (they all had), and when we got home he wanted to lament that issue. I told him (again) that I had had a horrible night and needed to go take care of myself. I said he could join me in our bed if he chose, but I said I would not be talking about HIM all night and HIS issues. He got mad and yelled at me, I said it is not about HIM and he can just be mad and I'd talk to him later. This was a big deal--I usually get sucked into his issues easily, esp. when they need to be about ME, but the issue gets turned around and is then about HIM and his feelings. He stalked off to Luke's bed and stayed there. I was not mad. I did not sulk. I expected nothing of him, because he had nothing to give in his state. I read my book and took a xanax and melatonin, and went to sleep.

I woke up Sunday morning, and had to be at church to do the nursery at 8:45 (nursery is volunteer, I do it once or twice a year), and he felt bad about the night before. I said I wasn't mad and meant it, and we could talk later. We haven't talked yet, but we will eventually.

Laura N said...

I never thought of moving the scale. Duh. I will do that tonight.

I agree with you, my mom keeps the kids a lot. She comes down every Friday and gets them. They spend the night with her about twice a month. She would have them every weekend if she could. I tell her NO a lot. Sophie is the oldest of a total of 8 grandkids between mom & her husband; my stepdad's grandkids are good, calm kids, thank God, but they often have them all at the same time. Mom doesn't know how to tell her husband "no" when she doesn't want all 8 kids at one time; he doesn't listen anyway. They have his grandkids in one combination or another every single weekend (two families--set of 3 year old twins, boy & girl, and then 3 kids, boy-7, girl-4, girl-2). Family with twins lives across the street from mom & stepdad.

Sophie has had issues b/c mom yells at her when she's been standing up for herself against tormenting from the little kids. I talked to mom about it, because I had done the same thing myself with Luke & Sophie and had discussed with my therapist on how to better handle it; mom said she'd be more careful about it. Sophie said she had a good day/night. Luke loves it there. He gets spoiled, though--rarely disciplined. Plus he bounces back quickly and is not as sensitive to things as Sophie is.

They live in the country (30 minutes away from City)--lots of things to do outside. My step dad is great with them. He has taught Sophie how to shoot a bow & arrow, and she even has her own beautiful set and is very good at it. He includes the older two, Sophie and Keegan, in a lot of things he does around their property so they will learn from him. He and mom take the kids to a nearby creek and they explore nature. They go fishing at a neighbor's pond. Sophie loves being outdoors. She doesn't get those experiences here in town.

I have looked at my children's joyful times in Small Town as a way to heal my pain that came from Small Town. There are so many painful memories for me there; to get to mom's I have to drive by the location of the motorcycle track from when I was 12. The old school building where I sat on the bus when Azel gave me his school ring is still there, but it is vacant and one wall is partially caved in and the windows are all busted out. It's sad and scary and I don't know why it hasn't been razed. Thankfully I don't drive by it to get to mom's house. My mom has no idea about these feelings I have.

My idea that my kids can somehow reclaim Small Town for me may be "off." I need to talk with Julie about it. I haven't shared that concept with my children--just with my husband. Mark doesn't like it up there, either. Very backward town; I can't stand going to family functions up there, so I usually don't.

So, yes, mom is with them a lot. Sophie talks to me about when she's not comfortable there. I gave her a month off of going to mom's after the yelling at her incident. This weekend was her first time back, and she did well. I will not let them go back for a couple of weekends (or more, we'll see) b/c we have stuff going on here, and I don't want them "farmed out" every weekend. We love spending time with our kids, so it's not a stretch to keep them home.

It's just hard to tell my mom "no." She makes me feel guilty about it, most of the time when I tell her no, in her passive-aggressive way.

I can see Sophie staying away from mom's more & more as she gets older. I need to make sure Sophie is protected and looked after UP THERE, just like I do for her HERE.

Laura N said...

"She comes down every Friday and gets them." -- Clarify... she picks up my kids & my niece from school/day care & keeps them at my house until we get home.

Jill said...

I think Vickie's advice is good - it's all a learning experience. Don't fall into the trap of, "well maybe it won't be so bad THIS time" because yes it will be as bad and you will kick yourself for not learning that the first time. (don't ask me how I know. I just do.)

GOOD FOR YOU for standing up for yourself with Mark. I know what a big deal that was for you, so you get a big "huzzah" from me!! :)

Vickie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Vickie said...

I had one more thought - when your mom asks you about the scale, without getting into a big thing, TELL her why you moved it. something as simple as 'I feel uncomfortable in converations about the scale and individual weights'.

All "I" comments, no 'you' comments.

I would not bring it up to her, but if she asks you, I would speak the simple truth.

Vickie said...

I will not go anywhere with someone (I am with) drinking. As in the same car. as in designated driver.

For the simple reason, I want to be able to leave whenever I am comfortable leaving. I do not want to be put in the position of having to wait for drinking people.

We just had this come up last weekend. Husband wanted me to be designated driver. I said - I will not be put in position of dealing with/waiting for a drinking person. I am driving myself so I can leave whenever I wish.

He said - but if you drive yourself, then I can't drink (because he would be driving himself). I said - you are correct (in your assessment of the situation). So, for me to go in same car with him, he had to agree not to drink and to leave when I needed to leave. (he would NEVER drink and drive).

talking later is always smart. Not getting in a pi$$ing match is always smart too. I am not talking about ignoring it. I am talking about choosing the right circumstances when it can be productive and that is what it sounds like you did. I have learned to be reflective and it is a real asset.

Vickie said...

delete was me, I explained driving my own car, when we are going somewhere I might want to leave early for a variety of reasons. And last week - it was definitely one of those occassions. neither one of us were sure we wanted to go. But we did go and it was okay. not great (it was a sort of weird group of people) but okay. I do not think it would have been nearly as okay if I had felt trapped.